tv The Colbert Report Comedy Central January 22, 2014 11:31pm-12:02am PST
[cheers and applause] >> jon: that's our show. join us tomorrow at 11:00. here it is your moment of zen. >> the first person of a mayor who happened to be a man. the second person was a mayor who happened to be a lady. >> stephen: tonight, can we trust the people with their finger on the button? i don't know, where's their other finger. (laughter) then, a new way to live life to the fullest-- continue sitting on the couch to find out. and my guest, journalist charles duhigg says we make many of our decisions out of pure habit. not true. i mostly make my decisions out of pure spite. the recent blizzard cracked a giant glass panel at new york's
apple store. they can get it fixed for free-- if they don't tell apple it got wet. (laughter) this is "the colbert report." captioning sponsored by comedy central (cheers and applause) >> stephen: welcome to the "report," everybody! good to have you with us! (audience chanting "stephen") why not? are you up for it? i'll do it! i might as well do the show. you ready to do the show, everybody? (cheers and applause) i like it. yes. nation, nation, here in new york city we are just digging out from the massive polear
nor'snowster of the last 24 hours. we got 11 inches of snow and that's in freezing cold weather because, normally, it's like 15 inches. (laughter) but i'll tell you who i am most worried about with this storm-- space. (laughter) it probably got hit extra hard because it's closer to the sky. (laughter) but this storm is not the biggest news in spice today. jim, you are go for footage! >> nasa officials say something very mysterious has happened on mars. like nothing they have ever before seen. take a look at this. notice -- you knoll notice a big difference in these two pictures. this is two different pictures taken of the same area. you can see the markings on the martian surface there. then there's this thing. a rock has appeared. nasa scientists say it's about the science of a jelly doughnut and looks like a jelly doughnut as well. >> stephen: mars has doughnuts. (laughter)
finally, we've wait sod long for this. we have finally found a habitable planet. call off the search for water and start looking for a lake of coolatta. (laughter) nation, this is the greatest space discovery since galileo found the milky way. (laughter) according to nasa, this object is very high in sulfur and magnesium-- so it's just as nutritious as dunkin'. (laughter) folks, this myspace.com tri or spacetry, is great news for nasa because it's hard to find people willing to sit in a tin can for six months to get to mars but we know people will wait any amount of time for a cronut! (laughter) now, of course, not everyone out there -- (applause). people love science. (laughter) of course, not everyone can accept the ample evidence that mars is covered in doughnuts. the mars rover's lead scientist is baffled saying "it's like nothing we've ever seen. i don't know what any of this
means. we're completely confused." (laughter) i don't see why. i mean, clearly we found life on mars and the aliens are doughnuts. (laughter) that's why after you have a stomach full of them you feel like this. >> kill me! (laughter) >> stephen: and the martians must be upset about how many of them we've eaten. so before they strike back, i think someone needs to broker a peace between these two planets so i have volunteered. on my way to work this morning i picked up a martian. (laughter). (cheers and applause) greetings! (laughter) i am an earthling. we mean you know no harm. hold on, i've got some alien spore on my fingers. (laughter)
(cheers and applause) >> stephen: well, that did not go as well as i had hoped. (laughter) i hope that alien doesn't upset my gluten allergy. (laughter) nation, there's an old saying: opinions are like demo tapes, i don't want to hear yours. (laughter) this is tip of the hat, wag of the finger. (cheers and applause) nation, i know it's 2014 but i still worry about nuclear war. i'm beginning to be afraid that we might not have one. (laughter) i've been drinking my own urine for nothing. (laughter) i'll tell you who's not bolstering my confidence that
armageddon is coming-- the clowns who run our nuclear program. >> 34 officers in charge of our nuclear arsenal said to be involved in a scheme to cheat on a proficiency exam. they've been removed from their command and it's raising new questions about the people with their fingers on the button. >> stephen: how do you cheat at nuclear weapons? do you write "push red button" on the back of your hand? folks, i'm giving a wag of my finger to the air force for removing these officers from duty. here me out. sure, our nuke operators were sending each other text messages to cheat on routine proficiency tests. but what do you expect? it's not like they can copy off the chinese kid! he's the one they're supposed to be nuking! (laughter) besides, if you think about it, cheating is such a minor offense when you consider they were actually being investigated for drug abuse. >> it started with a probe into illegal drug possession. >> at least ten officers at six different bases in the u.s. and britain are suspected of
possession of synthetic marijuana and ecstasy. >> stephen: folks, it's obvious that our nuclear launch crews are bored. (laughter) they're supposed to be on high alert at all times for something they know will never happen! they're like a high school french horn player with a condom in his pocket. (laughter) give it up, teddy! give it up. (applause) only thing you're going to be fondling is your spit valve. folks, our nuke crews clearly need a sense of purpose. can't we just let them launch one? i say we pick a country at random and let her rip. do we really need madagascar at this point? i mean, we've got the movies! (laughter) next up, nation, we're all shocked by the tragic shooting at a tampa movie theater where a retired police officer shot a man who was texting on a phone. it's a senseless tragedy. and you know what they say? the only way to fight senseless is with senseless. luckily, fox news dr. keith
ablow's middle name is "senseless." >> we may have to look at something i'll call "data rage." just like road rage. we know that when people interact with machines that sometimes they feel emboldened to do things that they never would. they may be impulsive to begin with or explosive. add in technology or a machine and things can go over the top and become very violent. >> stephen: exactly. this tampa movie theater tragedy was a textbook case of the thing keith ablow just yanked out of his ass. (laughter) data rage. this may have been a normal argument but there was a disastrous and dangerous machine involved. no, jimmy, i said a dangerous machine. thank you. (laughter) okay, so i am giving a tip of the hat to dr. keith ablow for pointing out that technology leads to violence. i know every time i see him on a television i want to kill someone. (laughter) (cheers and applause)
(laughter) finally, it's almost time for the annual westminster dog show. i'm so excited i had to change the carpet several times. (laughter) unfortunately, the dog show has been a very bad boy. >> a new breed of dogs is taking over westminster dog show-- mutts. the premier u.s. canine event is allowing mixed breed competitors. they'll be included in its new agility trial. this is the first time dogs of mixed breed have been at westminster in its 138-year history. >> stephen: mutts invading westminster? folks, this is a slippery slope! today it's mutts, tomorrow it's a finish spitz whose coat goes beyond deep auburn to brown! next thing you know, a guy can marry a box turtle. (laughter) oh, it's coming! (applause)
for instance, shelley here. (laughter) so -- (applause). a wag of the finger, westminster! i am just grateful that shasta, my childhood welsh springer spaniel, isn't around to see this. his great grandparents didn't sit in a crate across the ocean so their descendants would have to share a course with some portuguese chorkie. you know how you get a chorkie, right? you cross a yorkie with a chimp. (audience reacts) i only pray that word of this does not reach shasta at that farm upstate my parents sent him to. (laughter) he's had 25 great years up there. i'm going to visit you soon, buddy. (audience reacts) now, this year's agility competition will be full of street tramps like alfie, an athletic charming seven-year-old poodle terrier who was bought for $99 at a pet store.
no surprise. i know i'm not supposed to say this but the mutts are very athletic. (audience reacts) you know what they say? you know what they say? pure breads can't jump. but that has not changed the fact that the las knees weimer doodles of the world are genetically inferior. that's not my opinion, that's science. i'm a trained veterinary phrenologist. just look at this miscreant. (audience reacts) right here. you can feel right there, you can feel right there on the skull there's some nodules. his oversized individual a clear evidence of a criminal mind. who's an inferior canine? you are! you are! (audience reacts) you want a little martian? (laughter) (cheers and applause) so, folks, enjoy this year's
(cheers and applause). >> stephen: hey, welcome back, everybody. thank you so much! thank you, ladies and gentlemen. now, nation, you know me: i always live my life to the fullest. i never waste a single precious moment explaining myself or explaining the way i take advantage of all the moments and don't waste any of them with explanations. (laughter) none. the moments, i mean.
(laughter) not gonna do it. but every once in a while even i need to remember to make sure my life-styles are cranked to loco-turbo-max. that's why i was i was so excited to see this. >> my name is frederick and i work with tikker, the wristwatch that counts down your life. (audience reacts) i would like to talk to you about the day you are going to die. >> stephen: sounds fun. go on! >> for all of us, life comes with a best-before date and one day we'll find ourselves at the end of the line. that's why we've created tikker, the death watch that counts down your life. just so you can make every second count. >> stephen: yes, tikker, the watch that constantly reminds you you're gonna die. it's a great gift for the whole family because, don't forget, they're gonna die, too. i've got to say, i was surprised to see obama at your funeral, by the way. (laughter) i guess he just wanted to make sure the death panel finished the job. (audience reacts)
folks, tikker isn't just a way to digitally pinpoint the inevitable moment when you were devoured by the wolf of oblivion. it's also a reminder to have some fun! >> all we have to do is learn how to cherish the time and the life that we have been given. to honor it. suck the marrow from it. seize the day and follow our hearts! and the best way to do this is to realize that seconds, days, and years are passing never to come again! (laughter). >> stephen: whispering) not yet! folks, i'm sure you're asking, how can a watch know when you're going to die? it's not an old gypsy woman who lives in the woods. i brought you a lock of his hair esmeralda! why isn't jimmy fallon aging faster? (applause) here's how it works. folks, here's how it works. you simply fill out a questionnaire about your health habits, risk factors and age
then tikker will generate the time down to the second that you have left. (audience reacts) so if you're 30 with a history of serious drug abuse, you may only have 40 more years to live. (laughter) in fact, i'm wearing a tikker right now so i'm all set. time to seize the day by celebrating my birthday a little bit early! (cheers and applause) let's see exactly how much time i've got left. (gasps) (laughter) (audience reacts) ♪ and many more we'll be right back. (cheers and applause)
>> stephen: welcome back, everybody, my guest tonight says our habits control our behavior. here's the part where i run over there. please welcome charles duhigg. (cheers and applause). >> stephen: hey, charles, thanks so much for coming on. nice to meet you. you're the pulitzer prize winning author, you write for the "new york times." you're a business investigative reporter but you also got this book called "the power of habit: why we do what we do in life and in business." it's out in paper back now. 62 weeks on the best-seller list. did people still want to buy it or is it a force of habit? >> it's absolute habit. >> stephen: we don't need to talk about it. we'll just keep going. every habit has three parts, there's a cue, which is a trigger. then the behavior itself then finally a reward. >> stephen: i'll give you an
example -- >> so for instance when you back your car out of the driveway you're probably to think about other things. >> stephen: i close my eyes and gun it. >> (laughs) that's because some part of your brain is anticipating the sense of relief you'll have when your car actually makes it into the streets. >> stephen: oh! >> and even if you're not aware of that, that develops a neurological habit that you can take advantage of, close your eyes or think about changing the radio station or talk to your kids. habits -- >> stephen: so i've -- i get a pleasure response when i've achieved this task? >> absolutely. and you anticipate that task. there was a study that was done that said about 40% to 45% of everything we do everyday is a habit. you might not be aware of most of them. >> stephen: those kind of habits, isn't that like an addiction? don't you need a higher and higher dose every time? >> (laughs). >> stephen: shouldn't i get a longer and longer driveway? (laughter) >> absolutely. >> stephen: or back out of my driveway on heroin? >> that might do the trick. >> stephen: so 40% to 45% of what the average person tkphuz a
day is out of habit, we're not thinking about what we're doing? >> this is amazing because it lets your brain -- evolutionarily this has allowed us to succeed. our brain can take patterns and make them automatic which means we have time to invent fire or spears or video games or something like that. >> very similar to those three. >> absolutely. if you didn't form habits we would be in trouble everyday. the trouble is often times your brain is bad at choosing habits. you like to eat doughnuts or cookies habitually. >> stephen: cookies are wonderful. >> unless you're trying to lose some weight. and the problem is that when we try and structure our brain in certain ways so that we don't develop bad habits, we tend not to pay attention to these cues and these rewards. this is the real insight is that if you understand what's triggering the behavior and what reward it's delivering to you then you get this control over shaping that habit. >> stephen: what's triggering my behavior with a cookie is that cookies are fantastic. >> (laughs). >> stephen: right? they're delicious. >> i had a cookie habit myself
and i'd call these fancy psychologists and at the end of the conversation i'd say "i have a friend with a bad cookie habit." and what they said is "what's the reward?" i said "a cookie." they said "no, rewards are more complicated like that. a cookie is 12 or 13 rewards in one bundle." >> stephen: oh, yeah, because oatmeal chocolate chip is warm and gooey and the milk if you keep the refrigerator really low, that spike of fresh cold around the cookie. do you want a cookie right now? >> i kind of do want a cookie right now. so are you eating the cookie because you're hungry? which case you could have an apple which would work just as well. >> stephen: shut up! >> (laughs). >> stephen: shut up! >> sorry! >> stephen: you seem like a lot of fun. "here kids, happy halloween. here's your apple!" >> (laughs) or maybe you need a burst of energy and the sugar gives you the energy, which means you could have a cup of coffee. that would do just as well and you can replace that cookie
habit with a coffee habit. in my case it turned out when i was going up to the cafeteria to get a cookie that's when i saw my friends from the "new york times" and we would talk and gossip. the socialization was the reward driving the habit. >> stephen: so you didn't even know that was what was driving -- >> i had no idea. >> stephen: i don't like this theory and i'll tell you what. i'm sure it's a great book and everyone should buy it, but every moment of my life is a moment of clarity and choice. i'm not one of the mindless jellyfish being pulled along in the tide of human affairs. i wake up in the morning. i say to my heart "continue beating." (laughter) every moment of my life is a choice because god gave me free will. it sounds like anti-free will. but you know we're determinist nature to what you're saying. >> you're an exceptional human being. unfortunately, the rest of us have to live in the real world. (cheers and applause). >> stephen: okay, all right.
is it -- these habits, they're good habits and bad habit, right? >> absolutely. and you decide whether they're good or bad. to your brain they seem the same. it seems like a way to save energy. i know i like the thing, i know there's the trigger for it, i'll make it an automatic pattern. >> stephen: there an evolutionary component to this? >> absolutely. >> stephen: then why do we have any patterns or habits that our -- that are bad for us? why didn't we just evolve to only like things that are good for us? >> well, it's interesting, right? because take cookies, for instance. cookies are good for us in a lot of ways, right? >> stephen: they make us happy. >> they make us happy. in a state of nature they would give us calories and energy. for me it's a tool for socializing with my friends. >> stephen: again, i don't buy that, but go ahead. >> (laughs). >> stephen: that sounds like -- that's like a really great justification to stay on your diet. "what i really want is friends. friends with chocolate chips." well, charles, thank you so much for joining me. >> thank you! (cheers and applause). >> stephen: charles duhigg,
(cheers and applause). >> stephen: that's it for "the report," everybody. good nigh captioning sponsored by comedy central captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org test. >> this clip from south beach blew up on world star hip-hop amassing a 1 million views in 24 hours, in the clip our hero bernice trying to repossess a car but having a little bit of trouble. let's take a look. >> i don'tcare. >> i'm backing up. >> you ain't going nowhere. >> which one is left.